PROVIDENCE — From covering pivotal hearings and key votes to fund-raisers and political maneuvering, the Globe wants to keep a close eye on what Rhode Island’s congressional delegation is doing here and in Washington.

We’re launching a weekly feature that will hold our leaders accountable and highlight the work of US Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and US Representatives James Langevin and David Cicilline. We’ll also ask each of them to answer a different policy-related question every week.

Do you have a question for Rhode Island’s congressional delegation? E-mail it to Dan.McGowan@globe.com and we’ll consider it in future editions.


Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Senator Whitehouse was once on President Obama’s shortlist for the US Supreme Court, but now he’s acting as a juror in the impeachment trial of President Trump. The Republican-led Senate is widely expected to acquit the president, but the trial is still likely to take up a lot of time in the coming weeks. While the impeachment trial will deeply divide the Senate along party lines, Democrats and Republicans celebrated the passage of the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act, a bill designed to reduce plastic debris oceans. In other news, Whitehouse delivered the keynote address this week in Boston at the 100th annual event of the American Meteorological Society, where he discussed the threat he believes the fossil fuel industry poses to climate science.

Question of the week: Do you support abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement?

"We need a comprehensive reform of our immigration system - a reform that protects legal immigration and refugees, strengthens border security, and provides a fair path to citizenship for people already here,” Whitehouse said in a prepared statement. “I would look for such a reform to make significant changes to ICE, including an overhaul of how they work with immigrant children and families, without abolishing it."


Senator Jack Reed

Senator Reed’s decision to vote against the revised United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement made Rhode Island one of only two states in the country – the other was New York – to have both senators oppose to bill. It passed on an 89-10 vote after previously clearing the House, with most of the no votes citing concerns over the bill’s failure to address climate change concerns. Both Reed and Whitehouse voted to confirm former Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency director Peter T. Gaynor as the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Question of the week: Do you support abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement?

“Senator Reed supports ending President Trump’s failed immigration policies and finding better ways to humanely enforce our immigration laws with transparency, accountabilty, and real oversight,” spokesperson Chip Unruh wrote in an e-mail.

Representative David Cicilline

Talk about Rhode Island-on-Rhode Island crime. Representative Cicilline took to Twitter to criticize US Senator Martha McSally of Arizona for calling a CNN reporter a “liberal hack.” (McSally grew up in Warwick and went to Bay View Academy.) Early in the week, he attended a House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting on Iran policy. On Friday, he’s scheduled to be in Colorado to lead another Antitrust Committee hearing on the world’s largest technology companies.

Question of the week: Do you support abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement?

“No, but ICE is in desperate need of major reform,” Cicilline said in a prepared statement. “We need to remain focused on ending the president’s horrific family separation policy. This president has demonized immigrants and refugees fleeing violence since before he took office. It’s going to take a long time to repair the damage he’s done.”


Representative James Langevin

Representative Langevin on Wednesday attended a House Committee on Homeland Security hearing on U.S. and Iran tensions as well as a Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism that focused on the rise in anti-Semitic domestic terrorism. He also participated in a joint meeting with the Navy’s chief learning officer and fleet training directorate regarding the future of naval education including at the Naval War College in Newport.

Question of the week: Do you support abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement?

“Congressman Langevin believes that the agency performs important functions for homeland security, but there is a need for significant cultural and structural reform to ensure the humane treatment of migrants,” spokesperson Victor Morente said in an e-mail.

Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.